With the holiday shopping season in full swing, your customer service department is probably flooding with phone calls, emails, chats, and texts from customers trying to get answers to their questions. And while they just want to make sure they are getting the best gifts possible for loved ones, you are trying to do everything possible to keep up with it. And the extra customer service calls won’t end until a few weeks into January after everyone has either returned the stuff they don’t want or gotten all their questions answered about how to work their new gear. So here are some tips to make sure you are doing your holiday customer service right.

Let Artificial Intelligence take the lead

There are many instances where artificial intelligence can easily receive, analyze, and respond to customer inquiries without a live customer service agent every getting involved. This type of program works really well as a chatbot on your website or through responses to texts or emails from customers asking simple questions. There are some complicated questions that a real person will need to figure out, but many of the questions customers ask during the holidays are repetitive and can easily be answered by a computer. An artificial intelligence company can get you set up to the point where the computer will respond in real time to customers and is likely even faster than a customer having to wait on hold for an agent to answer a simple question.

This type of technology keeps your customers happy by making customer service interactions faster. Plus, your customer service agents will be happier because they don’t have to answer the same question 500 times in one day and can focus their creative energy on solving real problems.

Avoid over-promising and lies

There’s nothing that frustrates a customer more than when your business has promised something on their website, in a promotional email, on social media, or even in a phone call with a customer service agent and then it ends up being a lie. It may seem easier to just tell the customer what they want to hear, but one of the foundations of customer service is honesty. If you aren’t honest with the customer and they feel like they have been lied to, your trust will automatically be broken, and they will likely be lost forever.

Train customer service agents’ attitudes

The attitude of the person answering the call or responding to the email will affect how the customer feels during the call and how they will respond. If the agent is being too aggressive, the customer will automatically feel the need to defend themselves and will put up a wall. This can make it nearly impossible to salvage the relationship. However, if a customer service agent comes off as authentic, kind, and sympathetic, the customer feels like they have created a bond and wants to be kinder and more forgiving of the company. Never forget that your customer service agents are basically the face of the company, and their interactions with customers will make or break the relationships.

Be proactive to avoid problems

Make things as easy on the customer as possible. Many companies have this idea that if they make things hard, then the customer will just forget about it. For example, a company that doesn’t want to deal with returns will make returning an item as difficult as possible. However, customers who want to return an item and find it difficult to do may not ever return it but will also never shop there again. Being proactive in your customer service means avoiding severed customer relationships and avoiding the angry customers before they even call.

Offer surveys but be careful with the findings

There are always customers that are going to be unsatisfied no matter what you do, so that is something to keep in mind when reviewing customer feedback. It is also important to remember that unless the survey is ridiculously easy and is texted directly to a customer’s phone, it likely won’t be filled out unless the customer is already unsatisfied. While one representative continually getting negative reviews on a regular basis is a bad sign, it is also important to not get upset with your employees over a few bad reviews. Make sure and try to figure out what the root problem was for the negative review in order to find ways to improve customer interactions and to help train employees who may be struggling with one aspect of the training.